Official News from Microsoft’s Information Platform
The following are 7 new deep technical articles focused on SQL Server 2008:
Best Practices for Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2008 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc719165(SQL.100).aspx There is considerable evidence that successful data warehousing projects often produce a very high return on investment. Over the years a great deal of information has been collected about the factors that lead to a successful implementation versus an unsuccessful one. These are encapsulated here into a set of best practices, which are presented with particular reference to the features in SQL Server 2008. The application of best practices to a data warehouse project is one of the best investments you can make toward the establishment of a successful Business Intelligence infrastructure.
Build a Metadata-Driven ETL Platform by Extending Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc313017(SQL.100).aspx SQL Server 2008 Integration Services (SSIS) provides a flexible and scalable architecture that enables high-performance data extract, transform, and load (ETL), which is a crucial process in data warehousing. ETL involves extracting data from outside sources, transforming it to fit business needs, and ultimately loading it into the end target, usually the data warehouse. Some of the most common scenarios of using SSIS are building data warehouses (DW) and developing business intelligence (BI) solutions. The Microsoft Business Intelligence Center of Excellence has extended SSIS to a metadata-driven platform to more effectively build, deploy, and manage ETL processes in large data warehousing environments.
Database Encryption in SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc278098(SQL.100).aspx With the introduction of transparent data encryption (TDE) in SQL Server 2008, users now have the choice between cell-level encryption as in SQL Server 2005, full database-level encryption by using TDE, or the file-level encryption options provided by Windows. TDE is the optimal choice for bulk encryption to meet regulatory compliance or corporate data security standards. TDE works at the file level, which is similar to two Windows® features: the Encrypting File System (EFS) and BitLocker™ Drive Encryption, the new volume-level encryption introduced in Windows Vista®. This white paper compares TDE with these other encryption methods for application developers and database administrators. While this is not a technical, in-depth review of TDE, technical implementations are explored and a familiarity with concepts such as virtual log files and the buffer pool are assumed.
Introduction to New Data Warehouse Scalability Features in SQL Server 2008 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc278097(SQL.100).aspx SQL Server 2008 makes a major advance in scalability for data warehousing by meeting data warehouse needs of the largest enterprises more easily than ever. SQL Server 2008 provides a range of integrated products that enable you to build a data warehouse, and query and analyze its data. These integrated products include the SQL Server relational database system, Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services. This paper introduces the new performance and manageability features for data warehousing across all these components. All these features contribute to improved scalability.
An Introduction to New T-SQL Programmability Features in SQL Server 2008 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc721270(SQL.100).aspx This paper introduces key new Transact-SQL (T-SQL) programmability features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as well as SQL/Common Language Runtime (CLR) enhancements. New T-SQL features provide improved performance, increased functionality, and enhanced globalization support. T-SQL programmability enhancements in SQL Server 2008 address the needs of both OLTP and data warehouse environments.
Scaling Up Your Data Warehouse with SQL Server 2008 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc719182(SQL.100).aspx SQL Server 2008 introduces many new functional and performance improvements for data warehousing. This paper discusses how to use SQL Server 2008 to get great performance as your data warehouse scales up. We present lessons learned during extensive internal data warehouse testing on a 64-core HP Integrity Superdome during the development of the SQL Server 2008 release, and via production experience with large-scale SQL Server customers. Our testing indicates that many customers can expect their performance to nearly double on the same hardware they are currently using, merely by upgrading to SQL Server 2008 and compressing their fact tables. We cover techniques to improve manageability and performance at high-scale, encompassing data loading (extract, transform, load), query processing, partitioning, index maintenance, indexed view (aggregate) management, and backup and restore.
SQL Server 2008 Full-Text Search: Internals and Enhancements http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/cc721269(SQL.100).aspx Databases need to move forward and grow beyond the traditional realm of relational data to support an increasing amount, and variety of, unstructured and semi-structured information, be it speech, documents, XML, bioinformatics, chemical or multi-media. Search has proven itself as a key technology capable of working with vast amounts of such data: it is scalable, low-latency and very user-friendly. It is just what we need to make a database the best place to store all types of data. SQL Server 2008 introduces a new integrated Full-Text Search engine (iFTS) into the relational database, which makes Search as fully integrated a feature of SQL Server as any other traditional database service. The goal of this document is to cover the iFTS architecture in detail, explain its benefits, highlight new features, explain changes from previous solutions (SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005), and outline existing limitations and best practices for deploying iFTS-enabled applications.